With What To Clean And Not To Clean Granite Counters?
If you have recently had granite countertops installed in your home, you are probably wondering what you should clean them with. This is a tricky question. How do you find a cleaner that is strong enough to kill bacteria but not be so strong that it pulls the sealer right off? How do you find a cleaner that cleans and keeps your counters shiny and not smudgy? The answer to this question is quite simple and it is to buy a granite cleaner, but every household cleaner is not the right choice for granite countertops.
The ones that don’t strip the sealer off usually leave a sticky residue or a film. The ones that seem to work the best are stripping your sealer off little by little. Remember, natural stone is porous, and can let in moisture and germs if not kept sealed. If you do nothing else, please stay away from Windex and bleach. These are some of the worst products you can use on your granite!! Also stay away from abrasive cleaners, as they may scratch certain stone surfaces (not to mention strip the sealer off as well). Here is a complete list of cleaners to steer clear of.
- Ammonia (Windex is ammonia based)
- Lemon and other high acid liquids
When choosing a cleaner, it is best to go with something that is meant for your specific type of stone. If you have a honed surface (commonly limestone, travertine, and some granite), go with a cleaner that will also condition your stone such as Stonetechs Professional Revitalizer Cleaner and Protector.
If you have a polished granite countertop, go with something like Stonetech bulletproof stone sealer. This is what I use at my house.
If you are looking to seal granite and you want a really good clean before you seal, use Denatured Alcohol. This is what I use during my installs to get the granite perfectly clean before I seal it.
Technique When Using These Cleaners
No matter what cleaner you use to clean the countertops, you need to clean them with the right technique to get them looking shiny like they are supposed to. Here are some simple instructions to get it right;
- Dry wipe with a dry or slightly damp cloth to get any excess debris off the counter like salt, dirt, dust or whatever.
- Next, spray on your cleaner. Spray it on pretty liberally, getting the desired area pretty wet. Wipe in a circular motion with two paper towels folded in half. I only use bounty because it doesn’t leave any pieces behind, and doesn’t fall apart easily, and I won’t use anything else.
- The third and most important step is to do a second wipe with a dry paper towel in the same circular motion and buff them out. It is kind of like waxing a car.
That’s it! Buffing them dry is the key to getting good results with no streaks.
Granite Countertop Maintenance
Aside from cleaning them properly, your granite is going to need a good sealer application every so often. Check with your granite company to see if they sealed your granite, and how long their sealer will last. Most sealers only last one year, so try to figure that out as soon as you can.